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Black-capped vireo, photo by Alan Schmiere/Flickr
Alan Schmiere/CC0 1.0

Oklahoma's first discovered population of black-capped vireos was documented in Blaine County in 1901, but the advancement of eastern redcedar trees in their canyon homes had pushed them out of the county by 1980. To help the then-endangered bird, the Wildlife Department teamed up with the Oklahoma Nature Conservancy and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to cut cedars from the property. More than 14 years later, we're still seeing the benefits. The Oklahoma Biological Survey heard at least 41 territorial males singing in the restored canyons last spring. Five of those males had been captured and banded in the area during a 2017 study. 

  • Breeding populations of the songbird in the United States are distributed exclusively in Texas and Oklahoma. Blaine County is on the northern extent of the vireo's range. 
  • The Blaine County population formerly peaked at between 17-19 territorial males and 12-14 females in the mid-2000s. 
  • The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removed the black-capped vireo from the list of Endangered Wildlife and Plants in 2018 when rangewide population recovery goals were met. 

Get more details and see photographs of the habitat work in the full report

This project was funded in part by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Section 6 Grant F19AP00249.